On May 10, 1866, Carol I became ruler of Romania, then 11 years later, in 1877, the Romanian state formalized its independence, and on May 10, 1881, Romania became a kingdom.
These are also the reasons why the Romanians on May 10 celebrated the National Day of Romania from 1867 to 1947, when the monarchy was removed and the communist regime came to power.
As soon as the “brutal alliance” Alexandru Ioan Cuza forced to sign the abdication contract, in February 1866, and the negotiations of the royal lieutenant with Prince Philip failed, as a result of the latter’s refusal, a foreign prince was proposed and elected after a public referendum. It revolves around Carl (Carol) Etel Friedrich Zephyrinus Ludwig von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. She accepted the young Carol, and in April 1866 came to Romania, as noted by historian Paul Lindenberg, in his work “King Carol I of Romania”, translation of the corresponding work, F.D. Verlagbuchhandlung, Berlin 1906.
After traveling in stealth mode, by train, on the route Düsseldorf – Bonn – Freiburg – Vienna – Budapest, Karol arrived at Drobeta Turnu Severin. It follows a road of several days (known as the “Carol’s Way”), on which the future lord, and later the king, passed through Horezo, Raminco Valcía, Curtia de Arge, Campolung, and Targovit, on May 10, 1866, to enter Bucharest, writes the aforementioned historian.
Prince Carol I declared “ruler of all Romanians”, in French: “I swear to protect the laws of Romania, to defend its rights and territorial integrity,” wrote Boris Crocion, in the book Kings and Queens of Romania, Portile Orientului Publishing House, Iasi.
In this context, the 10th of May goes down in history. For eight decades, until 1947, May 10 was Romania’s national holiday.
With the proclamation of the kingdom in 1881, the 10th of May became King’s Day or Kings’ Day, an occasion to celebrate, even today, the royal house and all supporters of the monarchy.
Writer Horia Furtună described the May 10 celebration from Bucharest in the Old Kingdom at a radio conference in 1941.
“On the morning of May 10, the roar of cannons from Hill Sperry reminded the capital to celebrate. In the streets and boulevards the procession passed, homes and shops were decorated with flags. There were flowers in the windows. Three colors fluttered on the pillars surrounded by green, and portraits of King Charles were displayed The first and Queen Elizabeth in the shop windows (…) In the evening, the last flowers were thrown, and the roads remained covered with petals. ” – Horia Furtună, Radiophonic Congress 1941 – “May 10 of last year”. (Text taken from Current Affairs in Romania).
The festivities continued with another event that became a symbol of Bucharest: the “Fighting with Flowers from the Road”.
At the event, people gathered at Calea Victoriei to enjoy the flower-adorned carriages that passed toward Kiseleff Road. All the chartered carts were decorated with flowers, from wheel rails to horse harnesses, from whips, to the heads and tails of horses, the same flowers, containing lilacs, bluebells, roses, lilies, and the great baskets of the chariot were filled with little bouquets that were to be used in the ‘battle’ ‘, and it emerges from historical documents of the time, which were reproduced after radio transmissions from 1941.
15 years after Prince Charles I assumed his throne, May 10 was chosen to symbolically celebrate the kingdom’s proclamation.
The law authorizing the coronation of Carol I as King of Romania had been passed two months earlier. On March 14, 1881, Romania entered the ranks of the kingdoms of the old continent.
On March 13, 1881, heated debates took place in the House of Representatives led by C.A. Rosetti. Tito Mayescu accused the liberal government and its supporters of “nourishing republican ideals in the depths of their hearts and that they will never be a party to order and support the dynasty”. To prove the accusation as false as possible, the liberals proposed the immediate proclamation of the kingdom, and Carroll accepted, as Vlad Georgescu pointed out, in “The History of the Romanians. From the Origins to the Present Day.”
“Romania takes the title of a kingdom, and its ruler Carol I takes for himself and his heirs the title of King of Romania,” stipulated in Article 1 of Law No. 710, the normative law which was adopted unanimously by both houses and passed the next day, in a ceremony in the palace.
According to the notes of Carol I, he proposed to IC Brătianu that the coronation be celebrated on May 10, as part of the great annual festivities celebrating his accession to the throne.
The European ruling families were in mourning after the assassination of Alexander II in early March 1881.
After December 30, 1947, when the Roman Republic was proclaimed, from an official point of view, May 10 no longer represented anything. However, May 10 has remained in the minds of many Romanians as a day full of meaning, making Romania among the civilized nations of Europe.